Former Attorney General calls for law to put CCTV in all care homes

Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve has called for legislation to make CCTV compulsory in all care homes.

The Tory MP said a new law was essential to help protect residents from abuse and neglect.

Mr Grieve told the Express: “Seeing potential problems that exist in care environments, the arguments in favour are very strong. I think this is achievable and could become law.

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“We have large numbers of vulnerable people in care homes and we want to provide them with proper standards of care. Incidents of them being abused are scandalous.

“They are also criminal offences, so we have a strong incentive for trying to make sure it doesn’t happen.”

The move is backed by CCTV campaigner Jayne Connery who launched her Care Campaign for the Vulnerable more than five years ago.

Jayne said: “When my mother was slapped in her care home I felt powerless. It’s horrific. I know from those who contact me that it is far more widespread than people think.

“Numerous cases of horrendous abuse could have been prevented if cameras had been fitted to cover public areas. We want the government to listen to our concerns and act.”

To find out more about Jayne’s campaign, visit www.cctvincarehomes.com

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3 Comments

  1. geoff butcher said:

    i am not against CCTV but who does Mr Grieve expect will pay for this? the costs will run into thousands if not tens of thousands for every home !

  2. Judy Downey said:

    We in the Relatives & Residents Association (the R&RA) completely understand this normal gut reaction. But our daily contact with relatives worried about poor care has convinced us that the use of secret cameras by providers is certainly not the answer. We think it’s inappropriate as a simplistic substitute for proper care and supervision.
    We have made two Panorama programmes about the unforgivable abuse of residents revealed by their relatives’ undercover filming. But this happened when they got no response or action from the provider, the regulator or the local authority (and sometimes all three) when abuse and neglect was suspected. Cameras are no substitute for individual care and more rigorous and more frequent inspections and better enforcement.
    It is not good enough that there were only four prosecutions and three urgent cancellations by CQC in 2016-2017. This affected fewer than .01% of homes, when CQC’s own figures suggest that between 20% and 30% of homes regularly breach important required standards and often fail to improve. The powers exist to take urgent enforcement action to close a home or make improvements, which need to be used far more effectively.
    The regulator should once again become open to receiving and acting promptly on complaints. It should stop deflecting them back to the source of the complaint.
    It is also worth asking why care homes are inspected less frequently than children’s homes? Many thousands of residents have no kith or kin and many others have families and friends too far away or too disabled or disconnected to be in touch. This could amount to 30,000-40,000 older people in care homes without any outside support. We cannot rely on undercover surveillance by those with the energy and knowledge to install it. I t is no substitute for good quality control by providers.
    What about the effects of ‘undercover’ scrutiny on the poorly paid and undervalued workforce? Care workers already feel disaffected and vulnerable and turnover is higher in this sector than in any other. Rather than arguing for cameras, we should be campaigning for mandatory training for care workers. This will improve their pay and status as would improved staffing ratios and more rigorous standards. The government talks about ratios for nurses but avoids making similar statements about care workers.
    If CCTV is to be used, except in dire circumstances, it should be with the knowledge and consent of all parties: managers, staff and residents. It could then be used positively to sample care practice and for training, as well as to give praise and encouragement for good care openly and fairly.
    Judy Downey
    R&RA

  3. Pingback: A response to cameras in homes – again! |

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